Don’t look now but Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic are picking up wins toward the end of the 2022-23 NBA regular season. Seen by many as a team contending for the top overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft by way of tanking, the Magic don’t seem to be all that interested in winning the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes with the way they’ve been performing of late.
“Shhhhhh they think we tanking,” Paolo Banchero hilariously tweeted after helping the Magic take down the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday to finish a three-game homestand undefeated. Prior to that victory, the Magic defeated the Washington Wizards last Tuesday, 122-112, and the New York Knicks last Thursday, 111-106.
Against the Nets, Paolo Banchero scored 11 points on a salty 4-for-13 shooting from the field, but he had nine rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes. Cole Anthony paced the Magic with 21 points after coming off the bench, while Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr. had 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Despite their hot stretch, the Magic are still very unlikely to make the NBA Playoffs. They are also a long shot to make the cut for the Play-in Tournament. According to Basketball Reference, Paolo Banchero and the Magic have less than one percent chance to clinch the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference.
In any case, the Magic do look like they are trying to finish the 2022-23 NBA season strong, with seven games remaining on their schedule. They will be put to a tough test on Tuesday when they visit Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies.
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